In Idaho, “reckless driving” is a crime. A motorist can be convicted of the offense for:
(Idaho Code Ann. § 49-1401(1) (2017).)
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Idaho. The possible penalties for a conviction are:
The convicted motorist faces a license suspension of 30 days for a first violation, 90 days for a second violation within two years, and one year for a third conviction within a three-year period.
Idaho has a less serious crime called “inattentive driving.” The offense is defined as driving in a manner that is “inattentive, careless or imprudent … rather than heedless or wanton, or in those cases where the danger to persons or property by the motor vehicle operator's conduct is slight.”
The difference between reckless and inattentive driving is a matter of degree. Generally, reckless driving involves the operation of a vehicle that’s obviously dangerous, whereas more subtle instances of bad driving might be in the inattentive driving category.
Inattentive driving, like reckless driving, is a misdemeanor. However, the consequences are less severe than those for reckless driving. A motorist who's convicted of inattentive driving faces up to 90 days in jail and/or a maximum $300 in fines. An inattentive driving violation will also add three demerit points to the motorist’s driving record. Accumulating 12 or more points within a year will lead to license suspension.
In some states, it’s possible for a driver who’s charged with driving under the influence (DUI), to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When a DUI is plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”
Idaho law doesn’t prohibit plea bargaining in DUI cases. So, for someone who’s accused of driving under the influence in Idaho, plea bargaining for a reckless driving charge is a possibility.
HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU ACTUALLY SPEND IN JAIL?
Generally speaking, sentencing law is complex and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, a statute might list a “minimum” jail sentence that’s longer than the actual amount of time (if any) a defendant will have to spend behind bars. All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment, including the severity of the damage at issue, credits for good in-custody behavior, and jail-alternative work programs.
If you face criminal charges, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with command of the rules in your jurisdiction will be able to explain the law as it applies to your situation.
The facts of every case are different. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with reckless or inattentive driving, get in contact with an experienced defense attorney. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.